Stab Magazine | The World Title Races Are Startlingly Close After Keramas

Watch 'Wildcard: The Moana Jones-Wong Story'

110 Views

The World Title Races Are Startlingly Close After Keramas

And both the men’s and women’s top-10s are represented by at least five surfing “nations”.

news // May 27, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Both Stephanie Gilmore and Kanoa Igarashi were shocked to discover that their recent wins at Keramas had catapulted them to numbers one and two of their respective CT rankings. 

“No way, don’t even tell me that,” was Kanoa’s incredulous response.

Steph, who’s already got seven World Titles to her name, was even more animated.

“Oh my god,” she said. “That’s so exciting! I didn’t know it was possible; I hadn’t done the math. I painted my nails yellow though—my intentions were clear.”

gilmore igarashi6119BALI19dunbar

Heading into Keramas, John John Florence had a firm grasp of the World Title race, with guys like Italo, Jordy, Filipe, and Medina a few thousand points back. Then came two shocking days of upsets, wherein every one of those guys (minus Filipe) crashed out of the event in a spectacular fashion. Filipe would eventually lose to Slater in the quarters, which not only put a wrench in his plan to steal the Yellow Jersey before Margaret’s, but also allowed Mr. 11 to scrape his way into the top-10.

Kolohe Andino, who sat at number six coming into Keramas, also lost in the quarters. 

All of which left the door open for Kanoa Igarashi, who, coming into Bali, sat at number 10 on the rankings with two ninth-place results. With his win yesterday, Kanoa has sandwiched himself between Florence (still first) and Ferreira (third), thus setting the stage for a remarkably close and uniquely international top-10 (technically 11) picture. 

Let’s take a look:

Screen Shot 2019 05 25 at 11.18.27 PM

I count seven different flags in that picture—granted one of them is Hawaii (not a real nation) and Australia only got in by the hairs of Wade’s chinny-chin-chin—which shows remarkable growth for the sport of professional surfing. 

Also, the top four surfers are less than 2,000 points apart (meaning that if any of them won the final at Margaret’s, they’d gain the ratings’ lead regardless of how their competitors fared) and the tenth-ranked surfers (plural) are still well and truly in the race (one strong event could see them to the ratings’ lead, too).

It’s worth mentioning again that Kelly Slater, at 47-years-old, has put himself right in there with the world’s best. After Slater’s performance at Snapper, many people wondered if he’d have the courage to finish out the year, or if he’d use an abstract injury to excuse himself from an embarrassing last lap. Then, by a few parts skill and many parts inexplicable wizardry, Kelly logged himself a fifth and a third at back-to-back events, thus landing him in the number nine spot.

The man can’t not entertain.

slater k4938BALI19dunbar n2

On the women’s side of the draw, we saw a similar thing happen. 

World Number one Caroline Marks took an early dive at Keramas, as did her nearest suitor Malia Manuel, with number three Courtney Conlogue falling in the quarters. 

This left the door open for three marquee surfers—Carissa Moore, Sally Fitzgibbons, and Steph Gilmore—all of whom could have taken (or tied, in Sally’s case) the ratings’ lead with a win in Bali. 

Carissa lost in the semis to an impassioned rookie, leaving Sally and Steph to fight for the golden singlet. By now we’ve all seen Steph’s 10, meaning we know exactly which way that final went. Interestingly for Sal, that final loss sent her all the way down to fifth on the rankings, rather than first if she had won. That’s a testament to just how tight the women’s tour is at the moment (surfers 1-equal-fifth are less than 3,000 points apart).

Like with their male peers, the women’s top-10 hosts a dazzle of nationalities, from Australian to American to colonized-American to French and Brazilian.

Here, take a look:

Screen Shot 2019 05 25 at 11.56.00 PM

We’re only three stops into an 11-event tour (10 for the women), so what does all of this actually mean?

Well, over the last five years, ratings’ leaders after the third event have gone on to win the World Title 60% of the time.  So, if we’re to place any value in historical data, it’s more likely than not that Steph and John will be the 2019 World Champions. 

We’ll see how that theory holds up in December. 

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Billy Kemper, Mikey Wright, and Eli Olson Walk Into A Bar…

The Vans Pipe Masters heat draw is here. Let's break down the must-watch matchups

Dec 8, 2022

Watch: Kai Paula Has Arrived

Meet the 7th surfer to land a double spin in our final 2022 SEOTY entry.

Dec 8, 2022

30:27

Unlocked: ‘Nozvid’ In All Its Glory

Two years and $100K later.

Dec 8, 2022

How To Watch The Vans Pipe Masters

With less than 24 hours to go, we've put together a complete list of rules…

Dec 7, 2022

Watch: Stab’s Best Wetsuits of 2023

Our quest to objectively establish the best men's suit, women's suit, and booties out of…

Dec 7, 2022

Eithan Osborne Belongs On The 2003 World Tour

But he's gotten an invite to the 2022 Vans Pipe Masters, so we caught up…

Dec 7, 2022

30:37

“I Could Do Reels And Surf Two Foot Beachies And Hoard Cash But That’s Moral Suicide”

Noa Deane’s thoughts on money, media, airs in glassy waves and more.

Dec 7, 2022

Wildcard: The Moana Jones-Wong Story

The rise and rise of Mrs. Pipeline.

Dec 6, 2022

Watch: Torrey Meister’s Gunslinging SEOTY Entry

"Bull-riding is such a great warmup for surfing big waves."

Dec 6, 2022

Guess Who Else Just Got Invited To The Vans Pipe Masters

3 more withdrawals, and 3 more exciting replacements.

Dec 6, 2022

21:04

‘Buying Double Cheeseburgers, Acting Like He’s Hit Some Sections Today’

RAGE 400 drops ft Noz, Chun, Creed, Vinny, Jel, Wado + others!

Dec 5, 2022

What’s Happening To Orange County’s Sand, And Is It Worsening The Waves At Lowers?

Read this to upgrade your understanding of your local beach break and coastal environment.

Dec 5, 2022

Here Are The 15 People Who Qualified For The 2023 CT

After seven events and much groveling, 10 men and 5 women will officially be CT…

Dec 3, 2022

An Ode To Aussie Chick Pros From The Nineties 

A celebration of stoicism, resilience, grit, core lordship, and unconditional love.

Dec 3, 2022

Update: John John Flushes Everyone Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl

And the CT qualifications for 2023 are set.

Dec 3, 2022

3:53

Riaru Ito Is Cooler Than His Cucumber Garden

Meet our passion pick for the Vans Pipe Masters.

Dec 2, 2022

5 New Surfers Confirmed For The Vans Pipe Masters

Who's out, who's in?

Dec 2, 2022

Unlocked: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Dec 2, 2022
Advertisement